Caribbean Island Reinvesting in Coral Reef Health

Written by on June 3, 2015 in Coral Reefs, Other News

A brand new coral garden was recently established in Curaçao by the Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF).

Installing the trees. Screen capture from YouTube video by Ocean Encounters and Turtle & Ray Productions.

Installing the trees. Screen capture from YouTube video by Ocean Encounters and Turtle & Ray Productions.

CRF partnered with Curaçao’s Ocean Encounters Diving and Caribbean Research & Management of Biodiversity (CARMABI) to launch the Curaçao Reef Restoration Program, aimed at preserving the island’s reefs and biodiversity. The project will improve shallow water coral populations, which will help mitigate the effects of climate change in the area.

“The Curaçao Reef Restoration Program encourages our community in Curaçao to restore our shallow water reef system, while educating our youth about the importance of protecting and preserving our natural ecosystem,” Jeremiah Peek, Managing Director of Ocean Encounters Diving explained in a news release. “Programs like this help solidify a natural sustainability for future generations.”

Adding coral pieces. Screen capture from YouTube video by Ocean Encounters and Turtle & Ray Productions.

Adding coral pieces. Screen capture from YouTube video by Ocean Encounters and Turtle & Ray Productions.

The restoration process involves installing “trees” made of PVC pipes. Once the trees are secured to the sea floor, divers attach little pieces of coral called “corals of opportunity,” meaning the pieces were already broken and not removed from living corals. According to CRF, each tree can hold up to 100 pieces. The new nursery is then left to its own devices and just a few months, a new reef will have started to form.

Curaçao’s first nursery was established late last month. Watch the video below to see how it happened.

“This was an extraordinary team effort, with experts from our region coming together to help launch a program to restore the shallow water reef system for our community,” Peek said. “It’s an amazing feeling to give these corals another opportunity to grow, as 100% of the fragments we collected were already broken, lying on the seafloor.”

To learn more:

Copyright © 2015 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .

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